• goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

Diwali in Goa – Burn the Monsters!

Diwali, New Year, is every Indians favorite Holiday, but in Goa it’s even more special because the night before the main day is when they celebrate Lord Krishna vanquishing the evil demon king Narkasur. Diwali in Goa is an exciting time!  Ben and I are so lucky to be good friends with locals here and we were invited to the village in Parra for the festivities. Parra is just down the road from ours. I’ll do my best to explain how they celebrate, as hinduism is very difficult to understand.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrateBabu, Bens bestie and our driver & his cutie daughter Ashmi. Special thanks to the families in Goa that invited us and filled our bellies with veg patties

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

Why do they burn the monsters?

Basically, Lord Vishnu and Bhu Devi have a son, Narkasur. He was the King in Goa. He wasn’t good though, he has supernatural powers and became arrogant and evil! He would steal away all the pretty girls, leaving everyone very unhappy. So they called Lord Krishna to save the day. Obviously, Lord Krishna defeated Narkasur, early in the morning right before dawn. To celebrate and give thanks for Lord Krishna’s hard work, the Goans and others along the western coast, build giant monsters to emulate Narkasur and they have a big party.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrateMany monster around Mapusa

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebratehmm.. this is either a big coincidence or is symbolism of the riots that have caused so much racism here in Goa at the moment. Was actually really bummed to see this.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

 Some hold competitions for the best built and largest Narkasur. They even give Cash prizes. Taking a drive through Mapusa we saw many of them, some over 25 feet tall. They stuff them with hay and use painted newspaper to wrap. The hands and some other parts are pre-made in town and sold separately.  They spend quite a bit of money of them in the end, because they add a pre-made mask to their monsters.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

 The Goans have big stereos playing anything from psychedelic trance music, traditional Indian, to Aqua’s “barbie girl” as loud as they can! Everyone has a big dance party, some right in the middle of the road.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrateA contest for the best “lungi dance” a lungi is a type of pants men wear in some areas of India. Ben didn’t win. 

Fireworks are lit to celebrate and help bring in Diwali which is known for lights and fireworks. Little kids have no fear of fire that’s for sure and parents don’t seem to care what the boys get up to.”All Kinds of Fancy Fireworks!” was written on the signs. We got enough for the kids to play for 2 days, less than 20 bucks!

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

At 4 in the morning, just like Krishna, they destroy the giants! They cut him down, kick him, throw him around, and light him on fire. It would be so hard for me to describe how strange, but great, the night was.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

We brought LOADS of fireworks with us, sweets, and balloons. We drove the kids around so they could see other monsters and they piled in back of the Omni (Don’t worry I didn’t drive). The celebrations started way before we got there at 8 and finished a bit earlier than normal, 3 AM.

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

goa, diwali, narkasur, india, holiday, celebrate

PS: Coming to Goa? I wrote a 170-page e-book, Insider’s Guide to Goa. After five years of living in Goa, I am confident this book is the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to Goa it has all my secrets inside. Click here to buy it now. 

2017-08-17T14:15:01+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

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